Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ho Hum

The past few days have been kind of status quo. I am here and I am plugging along but my head is somewhat in a fog... one that I can't shake.

Chase is doing well with the night sleeping. He goes down at 7 and is up at 6... I wish he would sleep until 7, or at least 6:30 but we are still tweaking the bed time to try to figure that out. The day napping is still as troublesome as ever. On Sunday he slept for an hour and half... solid... no waking. We chalked it up to a fluke. Then he slept for an hour and I actually had to wake him as not to interfere with bed time. Ok, 2 flukes in one day... my hopes rise... maybe we have turned a corner. Monday... first nap - 35 min. second nap - 40 min. third nap (necessary when sleeping this little) - 0. I want to pull my hair out. I flip flop daily on whether this is ok or not... does he need more sleep? Maybe he is just a short napper ('snapper' as Marc Weissbluth puts it). This is fine, I can handle a snapper. Gack, I need him to sleep longer. More times than not, I get frustrated with him for not napping longer when he is clearly tired... which frustration towards a 9 month old is completely and absolutely fruitless. It only makes me feel like a crappy mom and low down human being. I then convince myself that he just doesn't need the sleep and I become cheerful bouncy mom doing her best to make it work... and it does for a time. Until the day comes (oddly enough, it seems to be every 3rd day) when I. just. need. a. break. I wish, pray, will, beg, bribe him to stay down longer than 30 minutes to no avail. Then back to square one... frustration, crappy mom, convince, bouncy, 3rd day. Vicious cycle.

I am going to try another book... I am just waiting for our library to get it from another branch... spending extra $$ isn't really in the budget right now. My sanity or a gallon of gas... the gas wins out. Hopefully this book will have some insight into the napping situation.

Speaking of the budget... God really knew what he was doing when he put the decision to move before us. This is the last month that we could have stayed here without going into extreme debt. Moving to Hagerstown really will save us from financial disaster (well further financial disaster ;~) A few months ago I was chatting with my dad about Adam and I's finances (he tends to be our guru ;~) and I kind of let it slip out that they only reason I am able to stay home is because mom died. Not that my dad wasn't aware of this but I never really vocalized it before. It seems so strange that I get to have my dream of being a SAHM because my mom died. I mean, I don't really know how life would have gone if she was alive but for present day hindsight... her death afforded me this opportunity. Not that I wouldn't trade being a SAHM for my mother back... I would in a heartbeat but just seeing some of God's great plan... no matter how sad, wows me. It reminds me how small I truly am. This isn't the only instance either... when Adam and I got married I was supposed to move to IN with him for his final year of law school. When it came time, we decided that I should stay home and keep my job so we had steady income. With that plan, I would be moving back into my parents home (something I am apparently proficient at ;~) That was in Aug 2004. My mom died in Nov 2004. Had I moved I would have 1. missed out on those 3-4 months and 2. missed being with her that Sat as she entered the hospital. I hated living apart from Adam but I am damn sure I would have hated missing that time more and for the rest of my life. God's plan for us amazed me then and it amazes me now. I truly can't wait to see what is in store for the future.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Andrew's Baptism!

Today was my godson Andrew's baptism! It was such a great time to see everyone come out in celebration... he is so loved it's ridiculous ;~) C fixing Andrew's tuxedo!

C and I

The happy family! Parenthood looks good on these 2!

This is Andrew through the baptism (water), the oil on the head and the draping of the cloth. Sacked out the entire time!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Becoming Reality

Moving to Hagerstown is becoming more of a reality to me... which is making me more and more nostalgic about leaving my hometown. I've lived in other places (Texas, Spain and Ohio) but this area is really where all my memories are.

Every time I drive by Elizabeth's Landing I think about random childhood memories... hooking the wagon to the stroller so all of my babysitting charges could ride, modeling sessions on the water with Christine, waiting at the bus stop, Tina and I running for the bus and her biting it on a icy hill, chasing Riley around the neighborhood when he got out, hanging out with Beth talking about how much I wanted to marry Kirk Cameron, mom taking prom pictures on our deck, playing with little Leo and Ali on the rocks, mom and Brooke watching me bunny hop my honda learn to drive a stick shift, Robyn betraying me, running through the neighborhood to the adjacent elementary school for the football game to which I was a cheerleader, my paper route, riding my bike countless times around 'the loop', hanging out on the pier on Stoney Creek, fixing my muffler (to which a neighbor ended up aiding me as I was failing miserably), New Kids on the Block posters plastered on my walls, hanging out with Ben, breaking my arm. Seriously, I could go on forever and all of the memories have long involved stories behind them. Ask me about any of them and I would be happy to go into detail!

The same goes for other sights in the area. Weilands, the garage where mom and I used to take our cars. Lauer's Supermarket where I had my first official job. The snowball stand where I worked for a summer. The library to which I always owed money. Sunset Elementary, Geroge Fox Middle, Northeast High and Annapolis Area where I got my world renowned education. Taco Bell where Diana and I ate almost daily for an entire summer. Friendly's where I made great friends and had a blast waitressing. The building where my mom worked as a loan officer (also where I learned what a fax machine was). The Shell station on the corner where I remember filling up for $0.89 a gallon. Again... this could go on forever and each place has at least a hundred memories just sitting there unopened.

I can't imagine a time when these memories won't just come to me. I know I will always have memories... that isn't the problem... it's the memories that I forget about, the ones that are only jogged by sight. In losing my mom I lost a lot of my past. There are things that I just don't know about my life... and moving away from memories that I don't even know I have, makes me wistful. I just want to pull all of my memories together, tie them up and keep them in a plastic bin so whenever I want to remember them, they are there to be found. Unfortunately life doesn't work like that, does it? This is all part of life... we grow up, we move on and we leave things behind... the known and the unknown.

Most of all, it is hard to think about leaving my mom... I see her in a lot of these memories. Smiling at me from whatever situation we were in. I feel like I am leaving a part of her behind as well... I guess in reality, I am.

I know we are doing the right thing... this opportunity is too good to pass up and it really is what's best for our family. I just get a little weepy when I think about leaving ;~) I haven't even discussed the people I am leaving behind... talk about weepy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

5 unspectacular quirks

1. I wear my mother's wedding set on my right hand.

2. I anthropomorphize a variety of different things. A good example of this is in a grocery store, if I see an item out of place... away from it's pack, I will take the time to put it back. I also cannot, I mean CANNOT leave one item on a shelf. If I am there to buy 3 bottles of apple juice and there are 4 left, I will buy all 4 so the one is not alone. Ironically, I was asked by a therapist if I did this and I answered no because I didn't want him to think I was crazy!

3. I eat icing straight from the tub. Rainbow chip is the best but I have been on a milk chocolate kick lately.

4. I like to have consistency and 'sameness' in my life. I would like for all our glasses to be the same... or all the boxes we are using to pack to be the same... or all the plastic bins to be the same... you get the idea. It drives me crazy that they are different but I deal with it because beggars can't be choosers. One exception... I LOVE our mug collection, all different and very eclectic.

5. I carry the change purse my mother used to carry... it still has her license, credit cards and voter card. It also has a $50 bill that I refuse to spend. I can't explain it but I will never spend it.

There, I did it! I am supposed to tag people here but I don't want to call anyone out specifically. If you want to do this, go for it... just let me know so I can check it out!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I highly recommend this show to anyone. Especially if you have had a hard day but really, everyone should watch it. We laugh the entire way through... not only are the challenges fun to watch, the commentary is great.

Here's a little taste:

Friday, July 18, 2008

My mouth shut

Tonight was Jaime's baby shower!! I haven't been able to post about it because Jaime is one of my loyal readers and it was supposed to be a surprise. Yes, I did say 'supposed to be'... I have the video to prove that it was not a surprise. Let's just say that Jaime did not miss a career in acting!

Surprise or not, the party was fantastic. Michelle (Jaime's big sister) did a great job planning the party cross country (she's a Cali girl!). Jaime and Craig are ready to welcome Jackson... although they may need to build an addition for all the presents! The food was great and the games were fun... there was tasting of baby food... ick!

Heather hosted the party and also happens to be due 3 days before Jaime. Here I am with Heather and Siena Katherine and Jaime and Jackson Shepard... lots of people for one picture! At the end of the party once everyone left Jaime's mom let me in on a secret... Michelle is pregnant too! I almost cried I was so happy! She is about 12 weeks along and already glowing! Congrats Michelle and Colin.... you're going to make wonderful parents!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

First Big Boy Toy

Introducing Chase and his first real 'boy' toy... meet Dozer!

Dozer has a handle on the back so Chase can practice rolling... his bucket moves up and down to plow through any toys that may be in the way... he makes noise when he starts off and moves forward... he has also given mommy the ability to silence the noise (thank you toy company!)... he has a seat and a steering wheel that turns the wheels for riding... he even has a storage area under the seat for Chase's wallet, ipod, camera, cell phone and bluetooth... well he is our kid, of course he would have all the gadgets!

I didn't realize it when I bought it but this is Chase's first boy specific toy... not that girls aren't welcome to play on it (Chase says 'Come on over ladies...') but as far as gender stereotyping with toys... this the first one! Maybe we should get him a barbie to even it out ;~)


Adam and I are going through each room and figuring out what we need to bring, what can be stored and what can be given away... which with a baby goes much slower than usual. So we have had a pile of clothes 'to be stored' sitting on our floor for a week or so. Yesterday I went through each piece, folded it and got it ready to be packed away.

I walked into our room this morning to find this...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Barfight

In reality it was an unfortunate run in with a board book but barfight sounds way cooler! I think this marks the first 'official' boo boo.

Monday, July 14, 2008

11.5 hours

Chase slept for 11.5 hours last night! There was one cry out at 5 but when I went in (very quietly) I found him still sleeping. Cue mommy to leave and catch a few more zzz's!

We are thrilled with the new sleeping habits at night! Tonight I put him down completely awake and only got a slight cry of protest. It is almost unreal how well his nights have been going.

Enter morning nap #1... he slept for 16 minutes. Unfortunately the naps have only been getting worse since we started this routine. 50, 30, 35, 24, 31 20... you get the idea. I am holding on to hope (by a thin thin thread) that once we have been in the routine for a few nights the naps will improve. Even with the nights going well, I really believe he needs to be sleeping more during the day. I actually need him to sleep more during the day so I can recharge while he does... if not, I ended up feeling way too exhausted at the end of the day.

I also want to say thank you to everyone who posted comments and advice! It felt great to know that you cared so much!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Aren't I

just the everyday poster now!

I guess that is what happens when you have your evenings free again! So update on the sleeping situation. Napping today was nothing short of a miracle and devastating... how is that for over dramatic!

Unbelievably when we put Chase down for his morning nap, he protested all of 8 minutes before complete silence. 8 minutes! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would happen. My joy was cut short by him waking after only sleeping 36 minutes... we let him cry another 30 minutes in the hopes that he would cry himself back to sleep. He would have none of that. So up we got... with surprisingly a much happier baby. We played, we laughed, we joked, we were a family... then a little less than 2 hours later, little man went down for nap #2. Another 8 minutes and he was out. Oh my heart sings with joy! 30 minutes later, he is awake and crying. We test him with an hour of crying since we know he must still be tired... nope not having it. He wants up!

I want to stop here and explain why I think he must still be tired so people don't think I am imposing my preconceived notion of sleeping on his schedule. I gauge how well or long Chase has slept by his ability to wake up happy. Back in the days of good sleeping Adam and I could count on our baby waking us up at 7 every morning by cooing and talking to himself. I could count on little man cooing and talking once he got up from a healthy 2+ hour nap... if I could get him to take the nap in the first place! So... this waking up crying and upset just leads me to believe he is still not at the optimum sleep for him personally... however, we are on the right track!

We attempted a late afternoon nap but by this time I think he was so overtired from poor naps during the day that he literally cried the whole hour. We decided to forgo that nap and just shoot for a decent early bed time.

Score one for mommy and daddy! I put Chase in his crib at 7 in a semi awake state and he proceeded to whimper for the next 45 minutes... you can't even imagine how pathetic it sounded! When finally, silence! ONLY 45 MINUTES!!! I am so happy I could burst. I won't though because I am still tired. I apparently don't bounce back from lack of sleep like my little one does! I need a couple more good nights of sleep! I am so old!

I'm a believer!

So our night time routine started at 6pm last night. Bath, stories, nursing and then asleep by 7:20... or so we thought. It started with whimpering (so pathetically sad ;~) and escalated into full out screaming. I kid you now when I say you could hear the anger at us in his cries. According to Doc Weissbluth, once we put him down for the night, that was it. He cries until he falls asleep. Uhhh, torture much? However, since we (hubby and I) had a plan this time it was easier to stick to it and wait out the screaming. It took 1 hour and 40 minutes but eventually he calmed down and fell asleep. Now I didn't enjoy listening to that sound for as long as I did but I DID enjoy the silence once he was done.

As we were laying down we were preparing for what we would do if and what time Chase woke up during the night... before 3 - don't even go in, let him fall back asleep on his own. after 3 - diaper change and nurse back to sleep. The next thing I know, it's 5 and I am awake for no other reason then I am hard wired right now to be up then... Chase however, is still sound asleep. I am almost so giddy I wake Adam up... I said almost, I am not stupid enough to wake him up before I have to! I fall back asleep and wake up again at 6. Again, I am not waking up because of Chase, just because I have been getting up at that time for the past few weeks! I quietly read for the next 45 minutes all the while being completely amazed that Chase is still asleep. At 6:45 he did wake up crying which isn't the goal but for the first night, pretty darn amazing.

So I think there are a few key factors here...

1. I thought all things baby would come naturally to me. Not so much. I know that only Adam and I know how to raise Chase but there are some good opinions out there that should be listened to as well! I am starting to realize I am not the baby guru I thought I was! I am learning that I do need to read up on these type of things so I know all the options. My next goal is to read up on feeding babies!

2. Just because I don't like the process doesn't mean it isn't necessary. We tried other methods to get Chase to sleep well... including begging and pleading... all of which availed us nothing. It hurt to listen to him and I almost caved because of my frustration, saddness and headache but Adam helped me stay strong and we made it. Not only did we get a great pay off that very night, we just laid him down for his morning nap and he cried/whimpered for no more than 8 minutes before complete quiet. Talk about immediate gratification.

3. Adam and I are on the same page. This could perhaps be the absolute most important key of all. Before we were both filled with uncertainty about how we were handling things and with that uncertainty came our own ideas about how to handle specific situations. Complete lack of communication really. This time I read the book and picked out the key parts that related to our current situation... I highlighted them for Adam and he read up on it (he pretended it was a really long internet article!). Now we both have a game plan... the same game plan. This in turn makes it easier for me to let Adam be a daddy and put him down for naps..

4. For so long we were concerned about Chase's reflux and gas that we just assumed that they just persisted past the usual timing... what had actually happened was Chase's issues morphed into sleeping problems and we just didn't recognize the change. For all this time we have been trying to treat a problem that didn't exist while missing the problem that was there. YAY for parental mistakes! It's not the first and I am positive it won't be the last.

Now for the saddest image ever... poor thing is SO sleepy!

We really are still in the training part of this process so I don't want to think that we have licked this problem yet but we are definitely on the right path! Thanks to Kare Kare for her Dateline watching!

Friday, July 11, 2008


For anyone that finds this particular line of posting boring, please tune out for a time. I feel compelled to blog about this process because... well see the title of this blog.

Last night was horrible. I don't mean 'it was like he was a newborn again' or 'he was up a lot'... I mean Chase hit a whole new spectrum of trying our patience. He went down at 8:30ish (which yes, is too late... I already learned that from HSHHC. We will try to start correcting that tonight ;~) He first woke at 1... husband took care of paci duty and he went back to sleep. Up at 3... ok fine, I will do what I always do and try to get some more shut eye (all the while planning to speed read the book so I can start doing something different!) Yeah, Chase was not having the old routine. He was up with a vengeance. I stood at the crib for a 1/2 hour attempting to lull him back to sleep. Then went back to our room so he would cry and tire himself out. 15 minute later, he is no more tired than a hopped up caffeine addict. So I pull him out of the crib and rock him. EVENTUALLY he falls asleep (mind you I fell asleep countless times!) and when I go to move... pop, eyes wide open. Yeah, even the fail safes aren't working anymore. So I had it, I physically could not hold him anymore so on his tummy he went and as predicted, he cried as I walked away (about 4:30 by now)... he cried until 5 when he kind of fell asleep. From 5 until 6 he made a couple noises but managed to stay down. Enter 6:17 when full on wailing starts. This was the mother of all cries but I had already decided that I would NOT get him until the alarm went off at 7. So for 43 minutes Adam and I laid there pretending we were sleeping (half pretending, half passing out) until that alarm went off.

As you can guess we had a half smiley, half irritable baby. We went about the normal routine... nurse, play, solids and then back down. I opted for a little earlier than 9 (theoretically 2 hours after awake) since he was obviously sleepy and oh yeah, had screamed for 45 minutes before getting out of bed. Well my little persistent gem proceeded to scream for at least 45 minutes straight... then it went to a whimper... then for a solid 15 minutes I thought during each minute, this is it... he fell asleep... only to hear another cry. After the hour of crying (which HSHHC says should be the max) I went in, put the paci in and stood there pretending to sleep on the side of the crib. After a few minutes he seemed to get more and more insistent towards me (uhh, manipulation much?) so I thought I better leave before this gets too out of hand. I leave, he cries... for about 15 minutes and you know what... he is sleeping now. Like eyes closed, no noise sleeping. Who knows how long it will last.... I have learned not to get my hopes up but at least for right now, it is silent (except for the continuous stream of lullaby songs in the background ;~)

My sincere hope is that tonight we will work on an earlier bed time and that will over time help with the night wakings and short naps. Prayers said, fingers crossed, salt over the shoulder, avoiding black cats, rubbing the rabbits foot, a frog in the house and any other form of good luck I can come up with.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


First and foremost... Wow. I have some of the greatest friends and family (and blog stalkers!). Thanks to everyone who posted, called or emailed me. All of your words of encouragement and advice was welcome and appreciated!

I left out a few key pieces of info when it comes to Chase's sleeping issues. I think it is a combo of gas problems and sleep training. I know my kid is gassy but I think if he were sleep trained a little better he might be able to get through the light sleep stages without waking.

When it comes to treating the gas problem, here are a few things we have tried... Mylicon (does absolutely nothing for him), gripe water... 3 different kinds; Little Tummy's, Baby's Bliss and Wellements (held promise to soothe him but does nothing... and don't let those prices fool you, they are a LOT more expensive in the stores!), I went completely off dairy for 3 weeks (no change in Chase), holding him upright for 30 minutes after being nursed or eating (doesn't matter, he still burps) and moving feeding times (nursing and solid food) around so it isn't so close to sleeping (didn't matter). We used to do leg exercises to help relieve him but now that he is stronger, it's pretty much impossible. Plus he basically does the exercise himself with all the crawling and standing he does.

There is a possibility it could be my diet. Maybe the foods I eat don't agree with him... that would explain the problem of gas persisting from day one. We are thinking about switching to formula to see if that makes a difference but have hesitated because of the cost. I know, I know, don't worry about the money. Easy for you to say ;~) No seriously, if that were the problem, we would switch in a heartbeat and suck it up. We just don't know if that is the cure and making a leap like that without some real evidence is hard. Keep in mind, we are moving back in with Adam's parents... that should give you some indication of the financial ;~) We are trying a few more things before we make the jump. Ironic considering this post but that was a one time thing and this is at least for the next 4 months!

Any time I google sleep issues, the name Marc Weissbluth comes up... Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Well right there in his title... I want both those things. Also, just before I posted about having all these troubles, Kare Kare at Adam's office saw a Dateline special about this guy and his book. It seemed a little too coincidental so we bought the book (with a 30% off coupon mind you!) and I have started reading it. No big revelations yet but I am only 10 pages in! Hopefully he will be able to provide some insight and ideas to help us out! That being said, I really should be using this time to read, not blog! Night all ;~)

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Motherhood ain't for sissies

So I am currently listening to Chase scream and cry his head off. It's as awesome as it sounds.

He has taken to only sleeping for 25-30 minutes during the day for each nap and waking up at the 1 o'clock and 5 o'clock hour at night. With all this non-sleeping comes a very angry clingy baby during his awake times and a very overtired frustrated mommy all the time. I was literally seeing double and lightheaded I was so tired yesterday. I am just at my wits end on how to make him sleep. We have tried everything under the sun (except for switching to formula, more on that later) to relieve what we think is gas waking him up. We are starting to think that maybe the gas isn't the problem and that now he is just old enough to manipulate us. I write this with some fear that people will look at me with scorn and say I should have been sleep training him from the beginning... this is all my fault. I deserve a crying manipulative non-sleeping baby. I don't know if anyone actually feels that way but that is what I think people will be whispering behind my back (I know, paranoid much?)

I truly hate the cry it out method. I think it makes Chase feel abandoned and alone. I hate that he cries so hard he gulps down air and then chokes on it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. Are my true feelings coming across here? All that to say that I am now trying it. I am tired (physically and emotionally) of doing the same thing day after day expecting a different result. I have exhausted all the remedies for gas and discomfort that I can possibly think of... or that google can think of. The only thing I have not tried is taking him off breastmilk and putting him on formula. The reason I contemplate this is because maybe there is something that I am eating that causes him discomfort. Also, I think the formula may be heavier than breastmilk, therefore making him more full and sleepy. I don't know how much I believe either of those are the real culprit which is probably why I haven't made the switch. Also, it's an all or nothing shot. We have to give formula at least a week before we would see results and by then I wouldn't be able to switch back to nursing even if I wanted to.

Can you see the insanity? Can you feel my frustration? All I want is a child that sleeps and I definitely do not have that.

Oh and to those people that claim "I let my child fall asleep crying and they slept so good... 2 hours!" I say a hearty BS. He cried it out (for 45 minutes) and finally fell asleep with me rubbing his tummy (because being on his own was only making him angrier and angrier) and proceeded to wake up 25 minutes later. Crying and screaming just as hard as before. So here I am. Hungry, tired, unshowered, overwhelmed and in tears myself. I just want my mom.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy Day after the fourth

Aka, the 5th.

I hope everyone had a fantastic relaxing fun day! We sure did. We decided to make the trip to Cambridge MD where Adam's uncle Jimmy had his boat docked. It only took about an hour and 15 and there was virtually no traffic! We had lunch, played in the pool, hung out on the boat, watched an amazing thunderstorm and had a delicious dinner! It was really a great family fun day. Amazingly Chase did really well... he had very minimal naps and was thrown completely off his normal cycle but he adjusted really well. Even lasting until 11 which was when we finished dinner! Seriously, the kid is awesome.

As my MIL pointed out... we never pass up an opportunity for a picture!

He is such a water baby... I can't wait to get him in swim classes!

Such a happy baby!

Enjoying the pool... Aunt Vicky, Uncle Jimmy, Sandy (MIL) and hubby!

I just LOVE this picture... makes me smile every time I see it.

Chase with his Grandma

Chase at the helm... although facing the wrong direction!

You know the proverbial baby's first lemon or baby's first pickle video that parents always take... yeah well we tried to take that video this weekend... enjoy.

Yep, my kid is such a good eater that he didn't even notice the sour taste.... just knows it's food and wants more.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Packing and $8

We have started the process of packing. Since the majority of our possessions are going into storage, we are getting those packed now. The hope being when we are close to the actual date, we only have a minimal amount left to box up!
Before anyone calls CPS... Adam is hiding behind that stack and holding onto Chase and his box!

We were graciously invited to the Bunns house for dinner last night (very yummy guys!). They are moving this month so they also are in the throws of packing, which means boxes everywhere!
Fortunately they made a great 'pen' for Chase while we ate dinner. Oh and yes... those are liquor boxes that are penning him in. Seriously, please don't call CPS.
We took the idea and ran with it... enter our new playpen! It actually works and keeps him happy! As you can see, he is pulling himself up to standing (joyous and terrifying for mommy and daddy) so it won't be long before he learns to throw that leg over and escape!

In other news:
I bought this pool from Kmart about a month ago and it is the best 8 bucks I have spent in a long time! It's been a great tool to tire Chase out and it's awesome for when we have company.
Here is Scooter with his new board shorts and sunglasses! This was his first time in a pool!
Chase LOVES the pool... he gets very excited when I am getting it ready.
Anna Stuart came over to try out the pool for the first time and despite the frigid water, she loved it! Now that is one hot chickie!